At the Chelsea Roof Terrace, our client challenged us to transform 600 square feet of asphalt roof in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood into a unique outdoor space for their family. To make their challenge more difficult, the space is at the bottom of a 100' deep brick and stucco canyon formed by neighboring buildings.
Since the prime feature of most roof terraces - a skyline view - was not available to us, JCA decided to create an outdoor room, open to the sky.
At the north & west sides of the terrace, where adjacent buildings are close, we designed tall walls topped with greenery to maximize privacy. To the east, the nearby buildings step back, and we allowed new elements, including a large planter, to drop lower. This lower height maintains visual privacy from neighbors, while allowing those on the terrace to take psychological possession of the greater space beyond the roof's edge.
At each end of the terrace, we created built in seating arrayed around custom light fixtures whose nighttime pools of light create natural gathering spots, 21st century versions of a campfire.
Every element of the roof had to be carefully designed to be delivered via a narrow and circuitous path through the building - and through our client's fully furnished residence. We also utilized a number of material and construction innovations to keep every element light enough to be safely supported by the 100 year old roof structure without problem.
Location: New York, NY, US
My Role: Architecture
Additional Credits: Landscape Design: Rumsey Farber Landscape Architecture
Photos: (c) Jason Valdina